Why Starting Jared Goff Leads Ways Lions Can Find a Second Half Win

Jared Goff

Getty Jared Goff on the field during a Lions game against the Eagles in 2021.

As most folks understand, the Detroit Lions have had an awful run of things this season en-route to their 0-8 record. The good news is plenty of season is left to go, and there is time for the team to turn things around in a big way on the field.

Given the difficulty of Detroit’s schedule, it’s not going to be easy to find multiple wins down the stretch, but there is a road map for the team getting this done, and it revolves around finding a way to reverse some of the mistakes they have made so far during the first half of 2021.

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So what can the Lions do to turn things around and make finding a win easier? Here’s a look at what should be their biggest goals in the second half toward sparking a turnaround.

Get Wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown the Football

Lions head coach Dan Campbell has admitted that finding a way to get St. Brown involved should be the biggest goal for the team, and there’s no disagreement here. St. Brown has not found a way to bust loose as of yet and see more targets, even in spite of some nice performances on the field. Earlier this year, he stepped up with a solid first half with back-to-back big games in October, going for 135 yards in games against Chicago and Minnesota. Since that point, St. Brown has posted just 72 yards in the subsequent two games. Peaks and valleys are common for rookies, but the Lions need to trust St. Brown more to perform.

Pressure the Quarterback With More Sacks

So far this season, Detroit’s lead sack collector is Charles Harris, who has 4 sacks to his credit. While that’s good news for Harris, it’s been bad news for the lions. Detroit has watched Romeo Okwara go down, which is a huge reason for their pass rush problems up front. Even such, between Harris, Trey Flowers, Julian Okwara, Nick Williams and others, there should be plenty of fire-power to generate more pressure in the pocket. If the Lions could cause more havoc in the pocket, it would allow their back end a chance to step up, get set and make more big plays. Detroit’s been better overall rushing the passer in 2021 based on their recent history, but still not great as a whole. That has to change if the Lions want to find more wins down the stretch.

Get a Bigger Lead in a Game and Maintain It

Much like in Week 8 and throughout, the Lions have played from behind nearly start to finish this year. It was not surprising a 10-0 lead against Los Angeles and a 17-14 halftime lead in Green Bay was not safe, given their offensive firepower. Otherwise, though, the Lions have not had leads in games, and the leads they have had have not been big enough to jump on an opponent sufficiently enough where they can either salt away a game or feel confident about its outcome. Somehow, the Lions have to figure out how to get a big enough lead in a game that doesn’t wilt that they can build upon. All it might take is a few stops on defense and touchdowns to get the kind of confidence needed to pull this feat off.

Keep Jared Goff as the Lions’ Quarterback

This might be a controversial statement to several portions of the Lions fanbase, but benching Jared Goff is actually counter-productive to the team finding the juice to get a win. As much as David Blough has experience on his side, he doesn’t have great statistics, with 1,033 passing yards, 4 touchdowns and 7 interceptions. Tim Boyle is still injured, and if he comes back, he has yet to play in a meaningful regular season game in his career. Dan Campbell would be smart to avoid the outside noise and keep his quarterback entrenched. Sitting Goff would simply send the message that the team is quitting, and thus would allow players to quit and check out as well. Even the most ardent pessimist would have to admit that Goff is not the biggest problem for the 2021 Lions at this point. Removing him would do nothing to help spark the team, and might only have a negative effect when all is said and done. The Lions have to do more things to help Goff rather than make a panic move to sit a player where there is obviously nobody better behind him at this point in time.

Scour the Market for Offensive Playmaking Help

After essentially punting on the trade deadline and not looking around for many outside additions on offense since the moves to sign the average Trinity Benson and KhaDarel Hodge, the Lions need to hit the waiver wire hard in the next few weeks, even if it means picking up a player that gets unceremoniously released, such as DeSean Jackson or potentially even Odell Beckham Jr. Signing in Detroit might not be those players’ first choices, but the Lions need someone to catch the ball, so the opportunity should appeal to someone’s ego if the right situation arises. Brad Holmes needs to do a better job of finding veteran playmakers to help his disappointing offense move the ball and find big plays.

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